• Legal Extortion

      Today's Wall Street Journal editorializes about Big Pharma's deal with Obama.

      In June, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America sealed a deal with the White House and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus promising to contribute $80 billion in lower drug costs over the next decade to ObamaCare, plus a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign. In return they were to be spared from price controls and the reimportation of cheaper foreign drugs.

      Sounds like extortion to me.  Government Care may extinguish small entrepreneurial start-ups, but Big Pharma can afford big regulation.  And they want the chance to shape government "reforms" in their favor. Yet Congress has already broken it's deal, demanding further cost reductions from drug companies.

      So how has the industry responded? More or less as Lenin predicted. Big
      Pharma is now running ads against Joe Lieberman, saying his threat to torpedo the Senate bill could cause drug prices to rise by 20%. It is also funding a campaign that targets the fence-sitters Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Blanche Lincoln.

      In other words, the industry is trashing the very Senators who stand the best chance to rescue it from government control. Instead, the drug CEOs are making themselves complicit with the Washington mentality of seeing only the costs of medications, not benefits like longer lives or fewer hospitalizations.

      ... The shame is that there be will fewer resources for the research and development that drives innovation, particularly for the smaller biotech companies that are the future of cutting-edge medicine. When it takes about a decade and a billion dollars to bring a new drug to market, a CEO of a smaller drug company told us recently, most firms are "living on the edge of extinction."

      ... It's one more reminder that when it comes to protecting economic freedom, you can never trust big business.

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